John Hellmann

Professor, Department of English
Core Faculty

A professor in the English department, John Hellmann (Ph.D. Kent State University) is the author of three books on topics of literature, film, and culture revolving around the American 1960s. In 1983-84 Hellmann was awarded a major grant from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) to study the effect of the Vietnam War upon the American self-concept. In 1986 Columbia University Press published the resulting book, American Myth and the Legacy of Vietnam. He followed that book with The Kennedy Obsession: The American Myth of JFK (Columbia, 1997). Among Hellmann’s most influential essays is his study of The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now as inversions of the Hollywood genres of the western and film noir, originally published in 1982 by the journal American Quarterly and subsequently reprinted in the collection Inventing Vietnam: The War in Film and Television (Temple, 1991). Hellmann’s work on Vietnam film has since included such commissioned essays for edited collections as “Vietnam and the 1960s” in The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Culture (Cambridge, 2006), “The Vietnam Film and American Memory” in War and Memory (Oxford, 1997), and “Apocalypse Now Redux and the Curse of Vietnam” in The United States and the Legacy of the Vietnam War (Palgrave, 2007). Hellmann’s most recent publication is an article on “The Birds and the Kennedy Era,” which appears in the 2011 volume of the Hitchcock Annual. He is currently writing a commissioned essay on the New Hollywood of the 1960s and 1970s for the forthcoming Cambridge History of Postmodernism. Hellmann’s teaching and scholarship have twice been recognized with the awarding of Senior Fulbright Lectureships, first to spend a semester in 1985 teaching at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, and a second time to serve for a full academic year during 1992-93 at the University of Bonn in Germany. Here at the Ohio State University, he offers courses on such film topics as “Hitchcock,” “Hollywood New Wave,” and “21st-Century Auteurs.”

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